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Will Nigeria Join OPEC in production cuts?

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By Lukman Otunuga

The past few weeks have certainly not been kind to Oil markets amid oversupply concerns and fears over slowing global growth negatively impacting demand.

Severely depressed Oil prices have hit Nigeria’s government revenues, weighed on official Naira pegged against the Dollar and fuelled concerns over the implementation of the 2019 budget which pegged Oil at $60 per barrel. With the nation still in the process of recovering from a recession, the government may think twice about joining OPEC in production cuts.

It must be kept in mind that Nigeria was exempted from the OPEC deal signed in November 2016 thanks to domestic risk factors. With the security situation in Nigeria still fragile, growth slowly picking up momentum and diversification plans in the process, this may not be the best of times for the nation to limit production.

The current environment certainly presents a strong argument for OPEC+ to take action in a bid to stop Oil prices sinking into 2019. While a cut is on the cards, the question on the minds of many investors will be how much will be cut and how it will be split among OPEC+ members. Markets are projecting OPEC to cut production by roughly over one million barrels per day from November’s level. A cut that is in line with market expectations will be supportive of Oil prices. However, if OPEC disappoints by leaving production unchanged, Oil prices are at threat of tumbling sharply.

Dollar on standby ahead of NFP

Away from Nigeria, the Dollar is likely to remain in a narrow range ahead of the US jobs reports scheduled for release on Friday. The Dollar was attacked from all directions earlier in the week after an inversion of the US Treasury yield curve stimulated fears over the US economy decelerating. Sentiment towards the Greenback could still swing in favour of the bulls this week if the US jobs report ticks all the boxes. A strong NFP figure coupled with signs of accelerating wage growth in November will reinforce expectations of higher US interest rates in 2019.

Sterling unsettled by Brexit uncertainty

Political drama in the United Kingdom has left the British pound quite unsettled. Theresa May’s repeated defeats in parliament are discouraging and likely to fuel pessimism over her Brexit deal being squarely rejected next week. Market fears over the UK crashing out of the European Union with no deal in place should keep Pound bears in the game for the rest of this week.

Focusing on the technical picture, the GBPUSD is certainly bearish on the weekly charts. Prices are trading below the 20 Simple Moving Average while the MACD has crossed to the downside. A solid breakdown below the 1.2700 should provide bears with enough encouragement to target 1.2590.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

Where Gold concludes this trading week will primarily depend on the pending US jobs report released on Friday.

A strong US jobs report for November will be Dollar positive as expectations heighten over the Fed raising rates in 2019 – an outcome that is seen negatively impacting zero-yielding Gold. Alternatively, a disappointing report will dilute speculation over higher US interest rates ultimately pushing Gold prices higher. In regards to the technical picture, Gold prices are bullish on the daily charts. A decisive breakout and daily close above the $1,240 resistance level, may pave a path towards $1,248 and $1,260 respectively.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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ACSIS Urges President Buhari to Sign Digital Rights Bill

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The African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give presidential assent to the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.

Mr Peter Akinyemi, ACSIS West Africa Regional Coordinator, made the appeal in an interview in Abuja on Friday.

The bill was transmitted to the president on Feb. 5, by the National Assembly.

Akinyemi said timely assent to the bill would protect rights of every Nigerian on the internet and strengthen the security within the nation’s cyber space.

According to him, this digital rights and freedom bill will effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the internet and in the digital environment.

“It will also attract investments when the investors see that the environment is safe.

“The bill will provide a comprehensive framework for the advancement, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet.

“This is very necessary in consistence with Nigeria’s regional and international obligations under various international human rights instruments,’’ he said.

Akinyemi also called on the Federal Government “to priotise ICT, come up with workable and inclusive framework and policies and strive for more PPP engagements.”

According to the regional coordinator, this will create enabling environment for the technology sector and ensure that government services are driven in a digital economy.

He said ACSIS, which was established in 2003 as a Pan-African civil society organisation, has membership of over 500 around the world.

It would be recalled that the bill, which has been in the National Assembly since 2016, was passed by both Senate and House of Representatives in 2018.

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Heineken Makes Dream Come True For Football Fans

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World’s most international beer brand, Heineken®, has revealed that it will be delighting football fans across Nigeria with unique, premium viewing experiences for the rest of the UEFA Champions League Campaign, while also giving consumers an opportunity to watch the semi-finals and finals matches live in Europe.

The announcement of these exciting new plans by Heineken was made on Tuesday, the 5th of March 2019 during one of the premium viewing experiences hosted at Farm City Lounge, Lekki, Lagos.

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most followed sports competition in the world with with an audience of about 1.1Billion.

With the 2018/2019 season approaching the final stage in the next few months, Heineken is set to back up its 25-year sponsorship of the prestigious tournament by providing fans with exciting and entertaining ways to enjoy the football matches.

As part of this commitment to providing fans and consumers with the most remarkable and unmissable moments from this year’s Champions League, Heineken has partnered with hundreds of outlets across Nigeria to deliver premium viewing experiences to consumers nationwide.

The premium viewing experiences have kicked off as the UEFA Champions League resumes the second leg matches of the second round fixtures. These viewing experiences will see fans in across Nigeria experience the UEFA Champions League in a new and exciting way as Heineken seeks to give fans a truly premium and unmissable experience.

Speaking on the announcement of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi had this to say; “The UEFA Champions League is the most coveted trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world.

“Heineken’s rich history with UEFA has brought us some of the most iconic and unmissable moments in the history of football.

“From the unforgettable volley by Zidane to seal the 2001 Champions League final to the miracle of Athens where Liverpool overturned a 3-goal deficit.

“These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with fans across Nigeria.

“This campaign will see Heineken provide hundreds of experience centers where fans can view the Champions League matches in a premium ambiance that only Heineken can deliver.

We also plan to reward lucky fans with opportunities to watch the UEFA Champions League Semi-finals and finals. We’ve had a tremendous relationship with our consumers and we want to share in the passion for the game.”

Heineken has been proud sponsors of the UEFA Champions League since 1994. This illustrious relationship with UEFA has seen Heineken become one of the most recognizable brands in sports, particularly in European football.

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Dangote Cement Expects London Listing in 2020

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Nigeria’s biggest listed firm Dangote Cement said over the weekend it has been in talks with several banks over a stock market flotation in London which it expects to be in 2020.

The cement company, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, said the plans were under consideration but that banks had not been selected yet, it said.

 

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